If you need a little Christmas this season, or to help you get in the Christmas holiday mood, the Palmerton Concourse Club invites you to its 2012 Christmas House Tour, Saturday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. If there is inclement weather, it will be held Sunday, Dec. 9 from 1-5 p.m.
Thanks to the homeowners' hospitality, this year the Christmas House Tour will feature four Palmerton homes and the Little White Church.
The tour begins at the welcome center at St. John Neumann School gym, located at 3rd and Lafayette Avenue at 11 a.m. Doors to St. John Neumann's will open at 10:30 a.m. Visitors go on their own to tour the sites until the homeowners close their doors promptly at 3 p.m.
Each location will be marked with a display of balloons outside. Paper booties will be provided and must be worn when entering each home. Visitors are asked to be considerate to the homeowners and to respect their house rules, which include keeping children in check. Visitors are asked to refrain from smoking in any home and to be respectful to neighbors and their properties.
Refreshments and restrooms will be available during the tour at the school gym.
"We will be serving hot chocolate, punch and cookies at the welcome center and Kenny from the Fireline Hotel is donating his delicious homemade chili to us. Concourse Club members will be making cornbread to go with his chili," says Susan Choy, Concourse Club co-chair with Cass Chies of the fundraising event.
"We're holding the Christmas House Tour to welcome in the holiday season," she adds.
Jeff and Carolyn Way are looking forward to welcoming visitors to their residence on Circle Drive. The colonial style home was built in 1935. It features a beautiful circular staircase, a large living room with original fireplace and a large dining room.
The home's basic decor features a nautical theme, which is complemented at Christmas time with several Christmas trees, a collection of Santas and a handmade manger.
Richard and Mary McGowan have lived in their Circle Drive home since 1996. They purchased it from Laura Shepard. It was built in 1938 from materials purchased from the Sears Roebuck catalog and delivered by rail car.
Today their brick home welcomes visitors from the moment they enter. It features a wood-burning fireplace in the living room and has built-in book cases in the library. It is decorated for Christmas with white lights, snowmen displays and snowflakes.
Ervin and Ruthann Kistler's 5th Street historic colonial home was built in the early 1900s. It belonged to the Dale Craig family until they gifted it to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church for its parsonage. It remained the parsonage until the Kistlers purchased it in 1991.
This warm and inviting home with a featured open staircase is beautifully decorated for Christmas with family-loved ornaments.
Renee Costenbader's family welcomes everyone "Home For The Holidays" at her Princeton Avenue home. There are five themed Christmas trees throughout the first floor.
The home was formerly owned by Richard and Anna Searles and the dining room features its original gold leaf wallpaper with Renee's collection of ironstone on display. One of her cherished items is a miniature nativity set, hand-painted by a local Lehighton native. Visitors will see other artwork like the depiction of the Palmerton train station and a painting made especially for the Costenbaders by famed Annapolis artist Jane Furguson.
Built in 1844, the Little White Church at 3rd and Columbia Avenue was the first church built within the confines of what is now the borough of Palmerton. It was founded as an Evangelical Congregation by the Rev. Jacob Snyder, but has served many different religious denominations since. Today the church is owned by the Palmerton Area Historical Society, which is responsible for its restoration and upkeep. Special services, including weddings, are held throughout the year.
The church's holiday decorations are patriotic in nature.
Advance tickets for the house tour are available at First Northern Bank & Trust at Fourth and Lafayette, as well as the Palmerton Area Library. Members of the Concourse Club will be at the bank to sell tickets on Friday, Dec. 7 between 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Tickets can also be purchased the day of the tour at the welcome center at St. John Neumann's School.
The Palmerton Concourse Club, a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, has been serving the community for almost 100 years. It promotes education, social welfare, moral values, governmental affairs and fine arts. It has provided support to the Palmerton Library, the Palmerton Memorial Park, Visiting Nurses, Meals on Wheels, the Blood Mobile and agencies to protect women from domestic violence.
The club provides scholarships for Palmerton Area High School seniors and funds five Guiding Stars awards, given to PAHS senior girls who display academic excellence as well as community involvement.
The club has been instrumental in maintaining the quality of the Palmerton Borough Park, championing the restoration of the bandstand, providing funding for improved walkways, lighting and tree replacement, replacement of over 100 benches and provides summer Sunday evening musical concerts.
Choy says they plan to continue holding the Christmas House Tour every other year, but hopes this year's tour will help you feel like it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.